Cover photo for James "Jim" King Ruhly's Obituary
James "Jim" King Ruhly Profile Photo

James "Jim" King Ruhly

April 10, 1943 — July 2, 2024


James “Jim” King Ruhly passed away on July 2, 2024 in Madison, WI, surrounded by his loving wife Carol, sons David and Christopher (Topher), and his grandson Sean. Shortly before he passed he was able to see and speak with granddaughter Shea, grandson Jace, and daughters in law Amanda and Lori. Jim was surrounded by love and support in his final moments.

Jim was born April 10, 1943 in Detroit, MI. He attended Michigan State University, followed by the University of Wisconsin Law School, class of 1968. Jim and Carol married, July 25, 1970 in Madison at First Congregational Church. Jim had a long and successful career as an attorney in Madison, WI, (Partner with Melli, Walker, Pease and Ruhly and of counsel with Boardman Clark) along with an enormous passion for being a part of his community and giving back.

Jim served on countless boards, in most cases acting as president or chair for a term, including: Madison Cultural Arts District, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County, an Elder of Covenant Presbyterian Church and Finance Committee, Overture Development Corporation, Madison Opera, Children’s Theatre of Madison, American Red Cross, and YMCA of Dane County. Jim also held community leadership positions with The Madison Club, Blue Line Club ( Badger Hockey) and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Most notably, he was an active member of the Rotary Club of Madison for 50 years since 1973 through 2024, serving as president 1999-2000.

Jim traveled the world with Carol, cycling across Europe, cruises, visiting the pyramids of Egypt, and countless national park trips and hockey camps with the family. Jim and Carol supported the arts in Madison, attending the symphony, musicals, and a variety of other events at the Overture as season ticket holders. Sports were also a passion, particularly watching his sons and grandchildren as they excelled in hockey, soccer, and track/cross country. Jim was an avid fan and season ticket holder of the Badgers and traveled with Carol to attend numerous National Championships.

Jim was a reader, and in addition to fiction and non-fiction poured through the local newspaper and the New York Times daily, clipping articles that might be of interest to his friends and family, and of course checking the sports page for scores and highlights. He once described the perfect weekend as a triple header with the Brewers, Packers and Badgers playing (and winning) in the same weekend.

Jim is survived by his wife Carol of 53 years, sons David (Lori) and Christopher (Amanda); grandchildren Shea, Sean, and Jace, brother John, brother-in-law Warren (Carolyn) Comstock, nieces Susan Kreckman, Sarah Halasz, Kimmy Kinzer, and nephews Read and Kevan Comstock.

Jim is predeceased by his parents, James King & Velma Ruhly, sister Pat (Joe), and brother Bob.

In lieu of flowers, and if you would like to join in Jim’s lifelong passion for the Madison community, please consider making a donation to:

Covenant Presbyterian Church - ; and/or

Rotary Club of Madison - 

A Celebration of Jim’s life will be held Friday, July 12thincluding a visitation from 12pm to 2pm, a service at 2pm, followed by an opportunity to visit with friends & family at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 326 S. Segoe Rd, Madison.

Jim’s service will also be livestreamed for those that cannot attend through this link: 

Cress Funeral & Cremation Service

3610 Speedway Road, Madison

(608) 238-3434

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